Read Time: 2 - 4 minutes
President Barack Obama made a comment stating ‘you didn’t build that’ during a speech in Roanoke, VA that has been mangled and twisted by Fox News, the Romney campaign, and the right then set the internet abuzz. Watch the clip below as the President refers to the support of other Americans necessary for all of us to succeed:
I couldn’t agree more with President Obama. He’s right that success is often built in collaboration with other people, whether that is parents, teachers, friends, mentors, or partners. Often we don’t build the roads that lead to our businesses or the infrastructure necessary to make it available to customers. When the president says ‘you didn’t build that’ he is talking about the tools outside of your control necessary for success.
Fox and the Romney campaign have clipped the video to look like the ‘you didn’t build that’ comment was referring to the business. Take a look here:
Dave Weigel at Slate pointed readers to the body language and repetition used in the second clip and the minor slip up in the speech that allowed the RNC and Fox to flip the statement on its head. Playing the clip multiple times usually is intended to distract viewers from the context in which it is said.
After watching the first clip it’s clear what the Obama was emphasizing. It’s easier to spot the partisan hackery of the latter. So when your friend posts a clip on Facebook or a cartoon referring to the comment. Instead of telling them to look at it in context. Remind them to thank a teacher that helped them learn to read. Or a group of programmers who built networks that allow them to regurgitate thoughtless information. Or the workers who maintain the infrastructure necessary to support these tools and opportunities. Because I’ve got a feeling that they didn’t build that.